South Africa has one of the best ‘systems’ for the transfer of property from one person to another, however it may seem complicated to some so I thought I’d try and run through the basic process of the South African Property transfer process to give a better understanding of it all.
It all starts once a Purchaser signs an Offer to Purchase (OTP) which the Estate Agent, who then submits it to the Seller for acceptance. Once accepted the OTP is handed over to a Conveyancing Attorney who will attend to the transfer of the property. Unlike other countries, a Conveyancing Attorney is a mandatory requirement when transferring a property in South Africa.
On receipt of the OTP, the Conveyancer acknowledges receipt to all parties involved and requests all relevant information as well as the deposit, if applicable, from the Purchaser.
From there the Conveyancer will go through various steps such as requesting rates figures, liaising with the Bond and Bond Cancellation Attorneys (if
applicable), making sure that all suspensive conditions stated in the OTP are met and various other processes.
Once everything is correct and ready, the Conveyancer prepares the documents for Lodgment in the Deeds Office. All parties (Transferring, Bond & Bond Cancellation Attorneys) lodge simultaneously at the Deeds Office and all matters are linked by a barcode.
Lodgment to Registration takes approximately 10 – 14 working days and goes through 3 levels of examination at the Deeds Office. At the end of the last phase the deeds are brought up for registration by the Registrar. Conveyancers have 5 working days in which to hand in the deeds for registration. The Conveyancer is notified in the morning that the deeds are up for registration and if no notes (queries raised by Deeds Office examiners) need attending to, then the deeds are handed in for Registration the following day. The next day the Conveyancer attends the execution room at the Deeds Office and registers the deeds before 12pm.
Final letters, statements and confirmation of Registration are sent to all parties as well as all finances being settled.
2 – 3 months after registration, the new Title Deed is delivered to the Transferring Attorney who will deliver it either to the Bond Attorney or to the purchaser if there is no bond.
It is a rather complicated process but hopefully this has shed some light into why a transfer of property can take up to 3 months.
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